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Armagh bull with moo-ves like Jagger sold for a record £147k

Cullyhanna beast smashes sales record after sweeping the boards at awards

By Jonny Bell

Published 20/10/2015

Henry Savage with sons Henry, Benedict, Phelim and Dermot, and their award-winning bull Jagger
Henry Savage with sons Henry, Benedict, Phelim and Dermot, and their award-winning bull Jagger

You can't always get what you want - but one Ulster farming family now has the satisfaction of knowing that their bull is a record-breaker.

Like his namesake, Jagger has moo-ves that impress the crowd and a certain swagger, although this particular animal's performance took place at a Carlisle pedigree cattle show.

Co Armagh farmer Henry Savage (57) knew his stunning 17-month-old limousin was special, and indeed it won the overall championship title as well as best in its class.

But then, at the sale on Saturday, bidding reached fever-pitch, with the bull selling for a record £147,000.

The average price for a bull in the same category was £10,000 and the previous record was £110,000.

Cullyhanna native Mr Savage, who reared the beast with his four sons Henry, Benedict, Phelim and Dermot, said they were in "dreamland" after the sale.

He added: "It was a terrific price, and he is a magnificent animal. But we always knew he was special. His mother was a prize-winner and his granny was a super cow, so it goes back in the generations."

So special was Jagger, he was treated "like a baby", said Henry, who came up with his own tailored feeding routine.

He was even taken out at night for some exercise in cooler conditions, and also washed every second or third day.

"He was treated completely differently to any other animal - we knew he was that special," said Henry. "He had a tremendous growth rate. He put on around two kilo a day almost since birth, which is just unbelievable.

"Normally animals will have growth spurts over a month or two, but I've never heard of an animal have a growth period for such a long time."

The family has always had a big interest in music, and it is from that that the bull gets his full name, Trueman Jagger. Trueman comes from the townland of the Savage farm, but Henry was behind the Jagger, as he names his animals in alphabetical order.

He said: "All the bulls in 2014 had to start with a 'J', and I was looking at all the possibilities when Jagger just jumped out at me. I said at the time: 'Hopefully he will make as much money as Mick Jagger'. It must be in the hips."

Jagger was purchased by a consortium of five individuals who will use him for breeding.

Henry said: "At the show the generosity of spirit from those there was apparent. There are a lot of genuine people who are so happy to see you do well."

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